An evaluation of the effects of aromatherapy on nurses’ occupational stress




Cornejo, Pauline
Alonzo, Kalista
Alonzo, Katelyn
Ayarzagoitia, Gabriella
Greene, Pamela


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The use of essential oils has been used in healing and for the improvement of health for thousands of years. The use of essential oils in aromatherapy can be used for symptom management for pain, nausea, general well-being, anxiety, depression, stress, and insomnia just to name a few uses. There are different ways to use essential oils in aromatherapy including the direct application or massage of the essential oils on skin. In a diluted form, the oils may be ingested as teas. The essential oils on inhalation, most likely, reach your brain and activate certain areas such as the limbic system and hypothalamus. The limbic system plays a role in emotions, whereas the hypothalamus is involved in releasing the feel-good hormones, impacting the overall sense of wellbeing. With the rising rates of stress and anxiety in nursing, the focus of this project shifted from the use of aromatherapy with patients to the use of aromatherapy by nurses to answer the question: Is the anxiety level of nurses who use aromatherapy on a regular basis less than the anxiety levels of nurses who do not use aromatherapy? An integrative literature review was conducted. Using current studies, an evidence table was compiled for the data collection. The findings were analyzed to make recommendations for nurses’ use of aromatherapy. Overall, the data indicated aromatherapy is effective in alleviating anxiety, minimizing fatigue, and promoting relaxation in nurses. Regular use of essential oils is inexpensive, convenient, and noninvasive. Based on preliminary findings, aromatherapy is recommended for regular use by nurses to reduce anxiety and promote wellness. The studies tended to have small sample sizes and anxiety could be caused by non-occupational factors, thus more research is indicated.



complementary and alternative medicine, holistic interventions



Attribution 4.0 International